Good news, Scarlett Johansson, you may not have to use ChatGPT with Siri

Apple In Conversation, Craig Federighi
(Image credit: Future)

So yes, most of the new AI-infused or AI-powered features coming to iOS, iPadOS 18, and macOS 15 Sequoia are powered by Apple Intelligence using either on-device or in the Private Compute Cloud. And yes, that goes for the vast majority of Siri’s new intelligence and new powers, as well. 

But Apple is giving users the option to pull from another LLM (large-language model) – OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4o may be called upon when Siri doesn’t quite know the answer or when you might want to mix up your writing style. You won’t be stuck with OpenAI’s latest LLM, though. 

Speaking at a talk after the keynote wrapped, Craig Federighi – Apple’s SVP of Software Engineering – shared a bit more about Apple’s approach here: "We want to enable users, ultimately, to bring the model of their choice."

Apple Intelligence at WWDC 2024

(Image credit: Future / Jacob Krol)

It’s an approach similar to how Apple lets you select a default search engine on your iPhone; Federighi did say that LLM choice could potentially include Google Gemini but was quick to note Apple had “nothing to announce,” but it is “the direction.” On stage with Federighi during the conversation were John Giannandrea – Apple’s SVP of Machine Learning and AI Strategy – and Justine Ezarik (iJustine). Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, introduced the conversation.

As a whole, it is a win for users’ freedom of choice. If there is an LLM that better aligns with your needs or maybe internet privacy beliefs, you’ll one day be able to make that choice, assuming Apple’s idea with software functionality doesn’t change.

This means that any users, including Scarlett Johansson - if she uses an iPhone – won’t be forced into using ChatGPT-4o … at least for the long haul. When Apple Intelligence ships alongside the new Siri, the assistant will sometimes ask for certain requests or questions and use ChatGPT to provide an answer. With user-written text, really anywhere on the supported devices, you’ll also be able to highlight the response and send it off to ChatGPT for revision.

Of course, these are all opt-in. You’ll also need an iPad or Mac powered by an M-Series chip or iPhone 15 Pro or 15 Pro Max – thanks to the A17 Pro chip – to use any Apple Intelligence features or the new Siri when it arrives later this year.

For more on Apple’s massive WWDC 2024 special event keynote, check out our recap 13 things we learned piece here.

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Jacob Krol
US Managing Editor News

Jacob Krol is the US Managing Editor, News for TechRadar. He’s been writing about technology since he was 14 when he started his own tech blog. Since then Jacob has worked for a plethora of publications including CNN Underscored, TheStreet, Parade, Men’s Journal, Mashable, CNET, and CNBC among others. 

He specializes in covering companies like Apple, Samsung, and Google and going hands-on with mobile devices, smart home gadgets, TVs, and wearables. In his spare time, you can find Jacob listening to Bruce Springsteen, building a Lego set, or binge-watching the latest from Disney, Marvel, or Star Wars.